Losing Track

Always take good notes on your music projects, kids! As you go along. Every day. If your sequencer doesn’t have a notepad, put a nice text file in the same folder as the sequence file, keep a text editor open on the desktop, and jot down everything. When you back up the sequence file, back up the notes too.

Today I’m trying to do some fresh edits on a piece I recorded two years ago. Fortunately, I saved the basic multi-timbral template in the Motif, and it’s named after the song, so it’s still available … mostly. For some reason, tracks 1 through 4 play the correct sounds, while the programs for tracks 5 through 7 weren’t stored in the template.

One of the tracks is named “swirly shit.” That is just so awesomely helpful, Jim. I could have named it after the patch I used — but no. I have a mixdown, so I can hear exactly what it sounds like. It sounds like swirly shit. But what patch created the sound? On what instrument? Is it even an instrument I still have? Your guess is as good as mine.

I’ve got about 20 mixes that I may be wanting to re-edit. This is number 2. I can see it’s going to be tough sledding.

I should really put in a plug for Csound here. Not that you could do a piece like this in Csound, because … well, you could, because Csound can do anything, but it would take at least ten times as long as if you were using commercial synthesizers. The reason to bring up Csound is because it’s open-source. If you’ve saved a .csd file (and they’re just small text files), you can open it up to edit it ten years from now, and it will still sound exactly the way it does today. I’m using Cubase and various other things, in a setup that’s constantly mutating. I go to a 64-bit OS, and maybe some of the plug-ins that I used on that old mix are not compatible with the new OS. Taking notes won’t help with that.

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